Andy Murray said he was braced for a walkabout from opponent Stefano Tsitsipas during what turned into a five-set, five -hour loss to the third seed in the US Open first round.

The Greek performed his usual party trick of hauling a bag off court after the end of the fourth set to change clothes, taking eight minutes to do so and interrupting the pace of play.

A seething Murray, three-times a Grand Slam champion, complained to no avail and said the long pause had an effect on a tight match.

“It’s just disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match,” the Scot said. “I’m not saying I necessarily win that match, for sure, but it had an influence on what was happening after those breaks.

Murray added: “It’s not so much leaving the court, it’s the amount of time. I spoke to my team before the match and said to expect that, prepare for it if things were not going his way. 

“When you’re playing a brutal match like that, stopping for seven, eight minutes, you do cool down. 

“You can prepare for it mentally as much as you like, but it’s the fact that it does affect you physically when you take a break that long, well, multiple times during the match.”

While upset at losing, Murray admitted his overall level was quite decent during the marathon struggle. 

“From a physical perspective, I thought I did quite well. but I would have liked to have done a little bit better physically at times. 

“But there were also other circumstances that were not helping that either.

“Overall I did well tonight, but I’m really, really disappointed and frustrated – really disappointed.”


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